Friday, October 31, 2008

Decatur Rec Alum makes the GA Tech Hoops Team!

Sam Shew, who grew up playing in the Decatur Youth Basketball program, and then for Decatur High, is now a member of the 2008-09 Georgia Tech Men's Basketball Team.

This below is from the Decatur Bulldogs Athletic Booster Club newsletter. Vicki Ainslie does a fantastic job with news and notices for the newsletter.

2007 DHS Alumnus, Sam Shew, Named a Walk-On to Georgia Tech Basketball Team

Former Decatur basketball standout Sam Shew learned that he'd made the Georgia Tech team last Friday night when he received a call from an assistant coach. "Whatta you doing tomorrow morning," the coach said. "Nothing much," Sam replied. "Just hanging out." The coach said, "We have practice at 11. I'd advise you to show up." Thus, the 2007 Decatur graduate learned that he'd become the Yellow Jackets only walk-on.

Originally Tech coach Paul Hewitt had no spots available for walk-ons. But when senior guard D'Andre Bell was diagnosed on Oct. 22 with a congenital condition known as spinal stenois (he will miss the entire season, and perhaps might not ever play again), Hewitt needed one more player. The 6-5 Shew, who was given a tryout on Oct. 8, got the call.

"It's a little surreal, a little amazing, and the opportunity of a lifetime" Sam said when I reached him by phone. "I still haven't talked to [Hewitt] yet, so I'm not entirely sure of my role. I'm kind of a leader type, so I think one of the things they'll want me to do is to get others involved, to push them on defense, and push them during drills. I'm sure I won't be asked to shoot too much, but that they'll want me to keep guys from getting complacent.

"One thing they told me," Sam said laughing, "is that the easiest way to get kicked off the team is hurt any of the [regular] players. Sure enough, in my first practice I elbowed one of the starters. I got a few looks, but everything's cool."I've known Sam since he was 10, when Mike Tierney and I were his first coaches in the Decatur Recreation League. I distinctly remember the very first practice when I was demonstrating how to throw a bounce pass which, for most 9- and 10-year-olds, is a complicated process. Not for Shew. At age 10 Shew not only believed he was the planet's best bounce passer, but was convinced he could deliver one in the nimble, grandiose style of the Harlem Globetrotters. When I crouched into a defensive stance, Sam bounced the ball directly through my legs which, of course, didn't come close to being caught by any teammate. Indeed, the ball slowly trickled untouched to the far end of the court. "Son," I said, "I want you to chase that ball down for me. After that, I want you to start running suicides until I tell you to stop." Which he did, one after another. He ran them so efficiently and quietly I completely forgot about him for about 15, 20, maybe 30 minutes. Finally another player, the legendary Jeron Stone (also 10 at the time), tugged at my shirt and said, "Coach, Shew's still runnin' and I think he's fixin' to die." Right then, I knew the kid had a work ethic.

Sam played four years of varsity for Carter Wilson, and started every game his junior and senior years, averaging roughly 12 points and 8 rebounds. He was never, in any game he played, the most talented player on the floor, but no one played harder. The game I remember most vividly was late in his senior season at Buford. I'm not checking any statistics here - I'm relying strictly on memory, which can be tricky and often inaccurate. But I believe that game went into overtime, and Sam played all 32 minutes of regulation and the first 4 minutes of OT, until he fouled out. I have never, on any level, seen anyone play with more desire, more passion and a more preternatural sense of anticipation. He must've drawn a dozen charges that night - he seemed to know where every offensive player was going before the player himself knew it. When he wasn't sprawled on the floor, he was in precisely the right spot for a rebound, or a steal, or a deflection, or an offensive put-back. Because Coach Wilson demands so much of his players, particularly the defensive end, it's rare that anyone plays close to an entire game, much less an overtime to boot.

When Sam finally fouled out that night, he collapsed so hard on the bench I though he was going to require oxygen. It was an absolutely inspired performance, and I can understand why Hewitt, or any Division I coach would want somebody like Sam on his practice floor day in and day out."These guys are pretty talented here," Sam said, referring to his Tech teammates. "But I feel like I belong. I've always played against players bigger and better than me. That stuff doesn't faze me. I've always felt as long as I've hustled and fought that I could play with anyone. I've always set high expectations for myself."Sam is currently a sophomore at Tech, majoring in Industrial Engineering with a 3.7 grade point average. As my own grandfather would've said, had he known Sam, "The boy has some sense."Coach Wilson, preparing for his 17th season as a collegiate or high school head coach (he won his 300th game early last season), had this to say about Sam's good fortune:"I am thrilled that Sam Shew was selected to be a member of the basketball team at Georgia Tech. This is living proof that big dreams and hard work can pay off in a major way if you are willing to persevere. While playing basketball in the Atlantic Coast Conference is an extremely tough task, I am confident that Sam will arrive early, stay late, and do what is necessary to fill an important role on this team.""Completing a roster is a very difficult task for a coach. You must select the right person or you can destroy team chemistry. I know that Coach Hewitt and his staff were looking for a player with talent, character, and dependability. They certainly found all of those traits in Sam Shew. I am proud of Sam and I know that he will do a great job."

In regards to his former coach Sam said, "Coach Wilson was an integral part of my success, a true mentor. He always liked to tell these motivational stories relating to former players who did well, saying if this or that player did it, so can you. Well, when I told him I made the team, he said that I would be the subject of his next motivational story. That's been the dream of my life. I just wish I could be there to hear it."
- Bill Banks

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Saturday - Step Up to Better Health

Come celebrate making healthier lifestyle choices for yourself and your family!
9 am to 2 pm, Saturday, Nov., 1st
Shoal Creek II Park, 3643 Glenwood Road, Decatur, GA 30032

* One mile walk begins at 9 a.m.
* Healthy cooking demonstrations
* Face Painting/inflatable play area for kids
* Family fun
* Health screenings
* Dance performances
* Greek show competition
* Visiting with your co-workers and friends and so much more. . . . .
Light refreshments will be available for purchase. The event will be held rain or shine!
Sponsored by: Steps to a Healthier DeKalb, DeKalb County Board of Health, Live Healthy DeKalb, 102.5 Grown Folks radio and Praise 97.5 Atlanta's Inspiration Station.
For more information regarding the event, contact Avian Wynn at (404) 294-3803.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nov 8 - Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve’s 9th Annual Harvest Celebration

(The CSNP is just a few minutes outside the city limits. It's just a great place for a short nature walk, and 150 types of birds have been spotted there. There's a nice boardwalk in the back built by Eagle Scouts and Boy Scouts.)
Ninth Annual Harvest Festival
4-8 PM, Saturday November 8th
Take your mind off the hard times and come enjoy the sights and sounds of nature on an autumn evening at Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve’s ninth annual Harvest Celebration on Saturday, November 8, from 4-8 pm. Come bring the family to enjoy music, crafts, nature walks, and a warm campfire with your neighbors. Guests are invited to bring a picnic dinner this year and CSNP will provide the marshmallows, hot chocolate and other soft drinks, and light snacks. Children can hunt for pumpkins and create crafts to take home. The Beans, a popular Decatur ensemble consisting of Atlanta acoustic scene veterans Cyndi Craven, Allison Adams, and Billy Gewin will perform. Their repertoire includes originals by band members and a fun assortment of cover songs ranging from Tin Pan Alley tunes to classic pop. Locally grown produce will be available for sale. Chris Beck will again demonstrate his wonderful home composting system. A donation of $3 to support our programs at the nature preserve is requested.

DIRECTIONS: Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve is located in Medlock neighborhood of North Decatur. Take Medlock Road from Scott Boulevard north to Medlock Elementary School. Turn right onto Wood Trail Lane and follow to the Preserve entrance. For complete directions and for more information, contact us at

Sundays - Decatur Winterguard (For High School & Middle School Students)

Check out Decatur Winterguard!
Please e-mail for information.
Winterguard is know as the "Sport of the Arts":
It's a great activity for high school and middle school students.
Practices begin this Sunday at the Ebster Rec. Center, 404 West Trinity.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Trick or Treat Tips from the Decatur Police Dept.

(Taking the kids out for Trick or Treating is a great way to get some exercise. This below from the very bright and engaging Juanchella Francis, PhD, Community Relations, Decatur Police Department)


Halloween may be a fun day for children, but for parents, trick-or-treat time can be a little tricky. To make Halloween a treat for all, follow these safety tips:

A) Check that the costumes are flame retardant so the little ones are not in danger near burning jack-o-lanterns and other fire hazards.

B) Keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls, and other bumps in the night.

C) Try make-up instead of a mask. Masks can be hot and uncomfortable. More importantly, they can obstruct a child’s vision, which can be dangerous when crossing streets and going up and down steps.

D) Make sure children wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.

E) Trick-or-treaters should always walk in groups so they are not tempting targets for real-life goblins. Parents should accompany their children when trick-or-treating, even the older children.

A) Parents, if you are not accompanying your older children, map out a safe route so you will know where they are, at all times. Tell them to visit homes of people known and trusted by your family, where outside lights are on.

B) Have your children trick-or-treat during early hours of the evening or before 8:30pm. If it’s dark, make sure someone has a flashlight and select well-lighted streets.

C) Make sure children know not to ever enter strange houses or stranger’s cars, especially, when trick-or-treating.

D) Your children should be advised to tell an adult or older teenager if a stranger suggests that they come into his/her home or asks them to do something they believe is wrong or makes them feel uncomfortable.

Parents and children can avoid trick-or-treating troubles by organizing a Halloween costume party in your own home with treats, games, contests, music and much more. Make your Halloween party the place to be!

1) Children need to know not to eat their treats until they get home. One way to keep trick-or-treaters from digging into their bags while they are still out is to feed them a meal or snack beforehand.

2) Inspect all treats at home in a well-lighted place.

3) What to eat? Only unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Don’t forget to inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious. By all means, remind children not to eat everything at once or they will become sick.

Halloween can be a lot of fun for parents and children if everyone remembers the tricks and the treats of playing safe. Remember, the safest Halloween party is in your own home!!

Halloween blood and gore are harmless for the most part but sometimes dressing up as a superhero, a swash-bucking pirate, or an alien, coupled with the excitement of Halloween, can bring out aggressive behavior. Even fake knives, swords, guns, and other costume accessories can hurt people. If these objects are part of a child’s costume it should be made from cardboard or other flexible materials. Better yet, challenge children to create costumes that don’t need weapons to be scary and fun.

Remember to Call the Decatur Police Department
In Case of an Emergency
Dial 911

Nov 15 - "Understanding Botanical Names" at Woodlands Garden

Please join us for "Understanding Botanical Names"
Saturday, November 15, 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Woodlands Garden, 920 Scott Boulevard, Decatur 30030
$25 per person

Would you rather eat worms than deal with botanical names? Do you run in the opposite direction when hearing a multi-syllabic Latin name?

Many people avoid scientific names of plants because they are intimidating and overwhelming. This fun workshop features John Manion, Historic Gardens Curator at the Atlanta History Center. You will . . .
· Learn how fascinating, enlightening and even humorous botanical names can be!
· Learn plant names that mean mouse's ears, eagle's claws, and many others!
· Learn about some of the intriguing people for whom many plants are named.
· Learn about scientific nomenclature pronunciation, common prefixes and suffixes, receive excellent handouts and references, and much more.
You'll be amazed at how much you can discern about a plant merely by understanding its botanical name! SIGN UP!

To register, visit the Woodlands Garden website and click on "Calendar." Download, print, fill out, and mail the form and your check (payable to DPA) to Susan Cobleigh, Executive Director, Decatur Preservation Alliance, P.O. Box 1764, Decatur, GA 30031. Questions? Email:

Telephone: 404.371.4444

Oconee Azalea: Rhododendron flammeum
The Oconee is one of the most common deciduous native azaleas of the Georgia Piedmont. The blooms of the Oconee appear in early to mid-April, ranging in color from pink to yellow to orange to bright red. Because of its beauty and abundance, Woodlands Garden adopted the Oconee azalea as its signature plant.

Retire in Georgia Magazine Announces the 2008 "The 10 Best Places to Retire in Georgia"

(Pick up a hard copy at the Decatur Rec. Center, 231 Sycamore St.)

The City of Decatur has been named as one of the Top Ten Best Place to Retire in Georgia by "Retire in Georgia" magazine, and the hard copy of the magazine is now available:
Press Release ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - September 10, 2008) - Retire in Georgia magazine, a publication of Georgia Lifestyles Publishing, Inc., announces "The 10 Best Places to Retire in Georgia." Retire in Georgia received nominations from cities and counties spanning the entire state. The editorial staff compared criteria such as climate, travel and tourism assets, technology infrastructure, cost of living, healthcare infrastructure, housing, population dynamics, community commitment, state and local parks systems and lifelong learning opportunities when making their decision. Each community is profiled in the Fall/Winter issue of Retire in Georgia magazine, which will be available online in late September at "Narrowing our list to only 10 was difficult, given all the great communities that were nominated," said Rick Duke, co-founder and editor of Retire in Georgia. "We are lucky to live in a state with such diverse options. The recipients of this year's awards are not ranked, but rather they stand together as a representation of the rural, urban and mountain communities that draw retirees to Georgia. This wide spectrum of options adds to Georgia's appeal as a retirement destination for everyone." The 10 Best Places to Retire in Georgia are:
-- City of Decatur (DeKalb County)
-- Peachtree City (Fayette County)
-- Blairsville-Union County
-- Cobb County
-- Dublin-Laurens County
-- Georgia's Lake Country (Morgan, Greene, Putnam and Baldwin Counties)
-- City of Perry (Houston County)
-- Augusta and the Clarks Hill Lake Region (Warren, Wilkes, Washington, Lincoln, McDuffie and Columbia Counties)
-- Dalton-Whitfield County
-- Moultrie-Colquitt County
For a complete list of finalists, as well as those receiving honorable mention and Georgia communities on the rise for future consideration, please visit our Website at
About Retire in Georgia Retire in Georgia is Georgia's premier active adult lifestyle guide. It is the first and most comprehensive source for amenity-seeking active adults considering visiting and relocating to Georgia. Retire in Georgia supports Georgia counties seeking to promote themselves as a retirement destination; developers of amenity-focused, active adult and various other senior housing retirement communities; and businesses/professional services serving the 50-plus market. Retire in Georgia is a partner of the Georgia Tourism Foundation. The magazine is distributed through more than 40 Visitor and Regional Visitor Information Centers, as well as chambers of commerce, county commissions, and government, economic development, and business organizations throughout the state. It is also mailed to subscribers in Georgia and around the country, along with targeted complimentary mailings to households in states with an established pattern of relocations to Georgia.
Media Contact: Rick Duke, Editor Retire in Georgia (404) 276-0090

Friday, October 24, 2008

Nov 15 - Free CPR Class provided by the Decatur Fire Dept.

(Asst. Chief Tim Hatcher of the Decatur Fire Dept. does a great job providing opportunities for city residents and staff to take free CPR/First Aid classes)

The Decatur Fire Department will be hosting a CPR Saturday on November 15, 2008, from 8:30am to 2:30pm at City Hall. This program is free to all City of Decatur residents, employees, and their families. Class space is limited. For more information, please contact:

Tim Hatcher
Assistant Fire Chief

Thanks InDecatur!/Decatur Safe Routes Yahoo Group

A Big Thanks to the always interesting InDecatur blog and David K. for bringing this to our attention:
"Decatur's "Safe Routes to School" program getting national attention"

Also, we have a Yahoo Group for Decatur Safe Routes to School:

To subscribe, just send an e-mail to:

Register Your Team Now - Park Renewal Day

Help the Park. Win Major Cash!

Did you know that invasive plant species like privet and ivy are taking over our community parks by strangling and crowding out native plants? Renewal Construction, along with DeKalb County and the City of Decatur, call on neighbors like you to help save our precious greenspaces.
The CompetitionTeams compete for prize money by uprooting invasive plants in one of our local community parks. Officials from DeKalb County and the City of Decatur will judge the quality and quantity of work done to each group’s designated work space.

Save the Date!
Saturday, Nov. 15, 9 am to 1 pm* (Registration: 8 to 8:15 am)
Food and live entertainment follow the work session
Where? Dearborn Park • Deerwood Drive at Midway RoadDecatur, Georgia
Your group can win major cash sponsored by Renewal Construction:
First Prize: $1,000
Second Prize: $500
Third Prize: $350
Fourth Prize: $250

The deadline to register your team is Nov. 6. Space is limited! One member from each team is required to attend one of two training sessions hosted by DeKalb County Parks

Important: Mandatory Training Session
One member from each team is required to attend one of two training sessions hosted by DeKalb County Parks (Sat., Oct. 25th at 10 am or Thurs., Nov.13th at 6:30 pm, Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St., Decatur, GA 30030). Your representative will learn how to identify and properly destroy invasive plants. This advance training gives your group the education they need to win the big money!
Tip: Extra points will be added to your final score for each additional team member who shows up to a training session (up to four members).
*There is no rain date for this event.
Register your team by November 6th:
Adobe PDF MS Word
For an online map, please enter in "Deerwood Drive at Midway Road, Decatur Georgia" on
More Information, please contact Dan Magee, Director, City of Decatur Active Living at:
678-553-6541 or

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nov 8 - Get some exercise while helping the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center

(Working outside is always good exercise plus this is for a great cause!)

Volunteer Work Day
1 to 5 pm, Saturday, Nov. 8th
College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center
917 South McDonough St.

Please join us on Nov. 8th to help clean up behind the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center.

This from the Workday Coordinator, Elton Davis:
"Our priority for the project will be cleaning up the stairs leading to McKoy Park. Depending on time/number of volunteers we can perhaps expand to the path through the trees leading to the stairs or the batting cage/planned garden area."

Please feel free to bring any tools (rakes, brooms, hoe, trimmer for small branches) and work gloves. Water and snacks will be provided. Plant waste bags would be greatly appreciated.

Volunteers are asked to wear long sleeved shirts, and jeans or work pants instead of shorts.

For more information, please contact:
Elton Davis
College Heights ECLC PTA Committee Chairperson

Saturday - 2008 Fall Electronics Recycling Day

2008 Fall Electronics Recycling Day
9 am to 1 pm, Saturday, October 25th
Decatur High School Parking Lot
(Corner of N. McDonough Street and Howard Avenue)

TV's will be recycled for $10 cash only with exact change. Don't throw away that old cell phone, camera or PC component! Save it and recycle it on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at Decatur's Fall 2008 Electronics Recycling event.

This semi-annual event has been hugely successful at diverting electronic equipment from landfills, where they may contaminate soil and water. Batteries and Styrofoam will also be accepted.For the first time at this event, TV's will be recycled for a minimal fee of $10 cash only per TV set with exact change. There is no charge to recycle other items.

The event takes place Saturday October 25, 2008 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Decatur High School Parking lot, on the corner of N. McDonough St. and W. Howard Avenue. Electronics dropped off that day will be sorted and disassembled into raw materials or cleaned for re use. The Decatur Waste Management Advisory Board investigates the recyclers involved to be sure the items are responsibly disassembled and not landfilled.

In addition to electronics, any metro area resident can also drop off batteries of any type, Styrofoam peanuts, and clean Styrofoam blocks free of foreign objects.
Volunteers assist in unloading items. To volunteer, please contact Scott Thompson at

Early drop offs are not possible.

For additional information, please call David Junger at (404) 377-5571.

No. 2 Recreational Activity in America: Gardening

Breaking news for Gardeners and those who enjoy nutritious eating in our schools and community!

Save Saturday afternoon for the Kudzu Festival for DHS Community Garden clearing. We're transforming a vacant lot into a garden. You can help. We'll be pulling kudzu and ivy, listening to music and eating s'mores, all to get fresh garden produce into the stomaches of our students in Decatur next spring. Bring gloves, pick-axes and hoes to chop the kudzu roots. We'll talk about various activities needed to get the garden going, and how you can help.

Join the fun this Saturday, 2-5 pm, Oct. 25th, at Commerce Drive and Howard Avenue - if there is some activity in the upper parking lot you can park in the lower one at DHS off Commerce, also accessible from the upper lot.

We look forward to seeing you,
Bruce Fabrick
DHS PTSA Grounds

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sunday - Free Soccer Clinic at Ebster Field

Free Soccer Clinic Hosted by FC Atlanta and Decatur Active Living
Sunday, October 26th
Ebster Field, directly behind the Ebster Rec. Center, 404 West Trinity St.

4 to 5 pm, 4-7 year-olds (Decatur Rec. Coaches please arrive @ 3:30 pm for coaching clinic)

5:30 to 6:30 pm, 8-11 year-olds (Decatur Rec. Coaches please arrive @ 5 pm for coaching clinic)

Clinic Summary:
- Ball Skill Exercises
- Age Appropriate Games
- Coaching Instruction
- Soccer Parent Education
- Contests and Prizes

Clinic Staff:
Paul Smith – Academy Director FC Atlanta Silverbacks
Massoud Roushandel – Executive Director FC Atlanta Silverbacks
Ted Macdougall – Director of Operations FC Atlanta Silverbacks
Gordon Martin- Staff Coach FC Atlanta Silverbacks
Matthew Holmes- Staff Coach FC Atlanta Silverbacks

For more info., please contact Dan Magee, 678-553-6541.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Playbook Archives

Reminder: The "Playbook" is a fantastic resource for all the programs offered by Decatur Active Living and Decatur Children & Youth Services:

Agnes Scott Hoops

Agnes Scott has a new Women's Basketball Coach, Tony Ciccone:

How is this related to Active Living in the City of Decatur? Well, walk or bike over to their campus to watch a college hoops game at a nominal price. It's a beautiful campus, and if you must drive, the parking deck on South McDonough St. is a very pleasant and safe walk to the Woodruff Physical Activities Building. Walking, jogging, running and bicycling are always much more pleasant in scenic surroundings, and the Agnes Scott campus is one of Decatur's finest gems.

Here's the schedule, with the first home game on Saturday, Nov. 15th:

So get a little exercise and support the local college hoops team!

Active Transportation for America: A Case for Increased Federal Investment in Bicycling and Walking

Active Transportation for America: A Case for Increased Federal Investment in Bicycling and Walking
Active transportation is bicycling and walking as an everyday transportation choice. "Active Transportation for America" makes the case and quantifies the national benefits for the first time that increased federal funding in bicycling and walking infrastructure would provide tens of billions of dollars in benefits to all Americans. By making active transportation a viable option for everyday travel, we will cost-effectively reduce oil dependence, climate pollution and obesity rates while providing more and better choices for getting around town. Some may view active transportation as marginal, but bicycling and walking account for 10 percent of trips in the nation. Half of the trips in America are within a 20-minute bike ride and a quarter of trips are within a 20-minute walk, yet most are taken by automobile.
Read the report to learn more about how adequate federal investment in bicycling and walking will create healthier places for healthier people.
P.S.: Very interesting chart:
Increase in Miles Driven and Obesity

Oct 30 - Mason Mill Park Public Meeting

FYI: Mason Mill Park is a DeKalb County park open to all county residents, and is less than 2 miles from Decatur just down Clairmont Rd. It has a dog park, tennis courts, senior center, and walking trails.

Mason Mill Park Planning Meeting #2 - Development of Master Plan
6:30 pm, Thursday, Oct 30th
Mason Mill Recreation Center
1340-B McConnell Drive, Lower Level
Decatur, GA 30033

If you cannot attend the meeting, please make a comment online at:

DeKalb County has begun developing a master plan for Mason Mill Park.
The planning process was done in conjunction with an outside firm.
The first of a series of public hearings was in September 2008. For
up to date information, including public meeting minutes, go to the
Mason Mill page on the county Parks and Recreation web site:

Nov 15 - Park Renewal Day!

Saturday, Nov. 15th, 9 am to 1 pm
Registration: 8 to 8:15 am
Dearborn Park, Deerwood Dr. at Midway Rd., Decatur, GA
Help the Park. Win Major Cash! Did you know that invasive plant species like kudzu, privet and ivy are taking over our community parks by strangling and crowding out native plants? Renewal Construction, along with DeKalb County and the City of Decatur Active Living Division, call on neighbors like you to help save our precious greenspaces. The Competition Teams compete for prize money by uprooting invasive plants in one of our local community parks. Officials from DeKalb County and the City of Decatur will judge the quality and quantity of work done to each group’s designated work space.
Food and live entertainment follow the work session
Where? Dearborn Park • Deerwood Drive at Midway Road, Decatur
Your group can win major cash sponsored by Renewal Construction:
First Prize: $1,000
Second Prize: $500
Third Prize: $350
Fourth Prize: $250
The deadline to register your team is Oct. 25th. Space is limited! One member from each team is required to attend one of two training sessions hosted by DeKalb County Parks
*There is no rain date for this event.Register your team by October 25 •
Adobe PDF MS Word
Event is November 15 • 8 am-2 pm
For more information, please contact Dan Magee, City of Decatur Active Living, 678-553-6541 or

Dec. 9th - Rec Center Renovation Public Meeting

Decatur Recreation Center Renovation Public Meeting
7 - 9 pm, Tuesday, December 9th
Meeting to be held at Rec. Center Social Room

-Come and give your feedback and comments for the renovation of the recreation center, which opened to the public in March of 1959.

From the AJC:

Ahead of the Curve
Your eye on community development
By April Hunt, Eric Stirgus, Kevin Duffy, Michael Pearson
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sunday, October 12, 2008

Process begins in rehab of Decatur rec center

Decatur has begun what could be a several-year process to spruce up its aging recreation center.
Public meetings will be held over the next six months to get residents’ input on ideas for the 50-year-old center on Sycamore Street. The facility had served as the home court for Decatur High’s basketball team. But with the school building a new gym, the city can renovate the center and is looking for new uses, especially for the 1,000-seat gym.
“We are trying to find new ways to use the building that support active living in our community,” Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon said.
The city will pay $44,000 to LP3 Architects to hold the meetings and develop a master plan and schematics for the center. That project will include a cost estimate, expected to be at least several million dollars.
Work on any improvements could begin in 2010, but most likely it will start in 2011.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


A BIG THANKS to everyone who volunteered for Walk/Bike to School Day on Wednesday and helped make it a big success! Thanks to everyone who took part in the pep rally on Tuesday night. And thanks most of all to the students and parents who did walk and bike to school despite the rain.

Quick reminder: It is Georgia state law to have a vehicle's headlights on in the rain. Unfortunately, we saw a large number of drivers who are not aware of the law, or are aware of the law but chose not to drive with headlights on, despite the rain and dark, overcast conditions.

Use Headlights Properly
Use high-beam headlights only when driving in rural areas and when other cars are not nearby. You must use your headlights between one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise; at any time when it is raining; or when visibility is limited.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Decatur Gators Swim Team 2009

Hey Swimmers, the 2009 schedule for the Decatur Gators Swim Team has just been announced.
The Decatur Gators Swim Team is open to boys & girls ages 5 through 18 yrs. old. Parent volunteers are needed.

C'mon out and represent your city in the pool; the next Michael Phelps or Dara Torres might be a young Decatur resident!

2009 Dual Meet Schedule:
May 26th
June 2nd
June 9th
June 16th
June 23rd
County Championship Meet: July 2nd & 3rd

Please e-mail questions to:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

7 pm Tuesday - Can't wait to see y'all at the Pep Rally!

Please join us on Tuesday, Oct. 7th at the Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St., for the city's 1st ever "Walk-Bike to School Day Pep Rally", with celebrities, prizes, entertainment and more. The following day, Wednesday, Oct. 8th, is International Walk-Bike to School Day. Students and parents, please consider walking or biking to school that day.

Here are some reasons from to support walking and biking to school:
To enhance the health of kids - Increased physical activity can combat a host of health problems facing kids today.
- Replacing car trips to school with walking or bicycling can help reduce air pollution.
- Sidewalks, education programs and traffic calming measures are some of the ways to improve conditions.
Plus, it's a nice way for parents to spend time with their children, and to say hello to neighbors on the way. Please join us on the 7th & 8th!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October 18 - Confident City Cycling Class

Decatur Active Living greatly appreciates offering bicycle safety and other related programs and classes with the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign, which simply does a great job with all of its offerings.
Please join us at 10 am, Saturday, October 18th for a Confident City Cycling Class, sponsored by the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign.
All those who live or work in Decatur get 15% off the price of this class!
10 am, Sat., Oct. 18th, Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St.
$35.00 (with a 15% discount for City of Decatur residents)

The instructor will be the multitalented and highly experienced cyclist Ron Horne. Ron is a part-time mechanic with a local bike shop and a dedicated bike commuter. His knowledge of bicycle gear, maintenance, riding situations, and skills are nearly unsurpassed among ABC instructors, so you're in for a treat.
Laws affecting bicycles, the importance of visibility andpredictability, lane positioning, intersection safety, interacting withpedestrians, trail etiquette, bicycle safety checks, fixing a flat,on-bike skills, crash avoidance techniques, basic bicycling gear, and much more!
People interested in bicycle commuting, recreational cycling, or occasional riding on city or suburban streets or trails.

* bicycle in working condition (check to ensure you have brakes, etc)* helmet* comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes* water bottle* snack

Schedule (Please arrive 15 minutes early):
1. Classroom instruction on bike safety, laws, gear, lane positioning, etc. 2. Short video 3. Parking lot skills instruction 4. Practice Ride

Recommended for adults and children above age fourteen, this compact and comprehensive class will make you a safer and moreconfident cyclist.
Click here for more info. Please call 404-881-1112 for more information.

Breakfast w/ the Birds, Sunday, Oct. 5, 8 am

(The Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve is beautiful 28 acre wildlife sanctuary just a mile or two outside the city limits, a block away from Medlock Elementary School. It's a nice, quiet place for a walk or short run. For birdwatchers, over 150 kinds of birds have been spotted there.)

Breakfast with the Birds, Sunday, October 5, 8:00 AM

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve and the Atlanta Audubon Society offer this field trip during fall migration that includes a light breakfast. Reservations are required and space is limited. Please contact Dave Butler at 404-580-3917 or at to register.

The cost is $5 and benefits our efforts to preserve and maintain this 28-acre nature preserve.

Directions: From I-285 N or S: Take Highway 78, Stone Mt. Freeway exit, west toward Decatur. Highway 78 passes North DeKalb Mall. At intersection of Highway 78, North Decatur Rd. and Medlock Rd., take right on Medlock Rd. Follow Medlock Rd. 1/4 mile to Medlock Elementary School; go right on Wood Trail Lane. Go through one stop sign; travel another 200 yards to Preserve entrance.From I75-I85 N or S: From I-85 north or south, take North Druid Hills exit, east toward Decatur. After approx. 3 miles, go right on Hwy. 78 (at North DeKalb Mall).

Running & Walking in the CoD

Decatur is lucky to have three running shops. They are fantastic resources for the beginner runner or walker, to the most experienced hoofer.

Big Peach Running Co., 114 E. Trinity Place, 404-377-7370 (click here for weekly run info.)

Fleet Feet Sports, 431 W Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-371-0208 (click here for weekly run info.)

One Step at a Time, 650-B East Lake Dr., 404-377-1030 (see post below for weekly run info.)

And remember while running is a great exercise, walking can be just as beneficial, and a little easier on the joints if that's a concern. Three fine websites for walking info.: The Walking Site, Walking, Walking.

Oakhurst Running Club

Staying motivated for daily exercise can be tough. Working out with others, and at a regularly set time, are possibly the best two ways to stay motivated. So kudo's go out to the Oakhurst Running Club!

Tonight at 7 pm is their "Etonic Prediction Run".

They also have cool "Routes" and "Weekly Runs" pages; here's info. on their weekly runs:
All runs start from One Step at a Time, 650-B East Lake Dr in Decatur, GA.

Wednesday Night Runs - started by Becca and Dennis, we run through rain, shine, snow, and darkness.
Starts at 7:00pm
5 mile routes - see the
Routes page for our runs
8:00 to 9:30 minute per mile pace (regardless of speed, all are welcome; we have maps of the route)
Contact or Charles Cope at (404) 377-1030 for more information.
If you wish to be added to our Wednesday Night Run mailing list, send an email to

Saturday Morning Runs - a beginner's or easy run that has had continuous weekend runs for over 350 weeks.
Starts at 9:00am
3.1 miles / 5K route
Saturday Route PDF file
10:00 minute per mile pace
Contact Charles Cope at (404) 377-1030.